Sunday O. Akinbowale is a Nigerian civil engineer and a life-transformation coach based in the US. In this interview with Ugoma Johnson, he talks about the state of the Nigerian church, prevailing struggles of the Nigerian youth and more.
Can we meet you, sir? Tell us a bit about yourself, background and education.
My Name is Sunday Akinbowale. I am a teacher of wisdom and a life-transformation coach. I am also a professional civil engineer and a certified project manager.
You are a civil engineer and a life coach, what does it mean to be a life coach, what is the experience like?
Actually, I call myself a life-transformation coach because I am more interested in seeing lives transformed than coaching people. It is understandable that some people definitely need a life coach for success in their different endeavors in life.
But coaching for success is not exactly the same as coaching for a life-transformation. Here is what I mean – when I coach you for a transformation in a particular area of your life, you do not have to always need me after your transformation has already been achieved.
You do not have to always come to see me so I can give you more tips or tools to help you succeed in what you lay your hands on. I rather give you the tools and teach you how to use it by yourself, so you can go do great things with your life. Because you are already a transformed person.
Being a life-transformation coach entails that you work with people to help them find their path in life.
Based on your experience, what are the prevalent issues that people especially the youth battle with?
A lot of youths are not certain about where they are going in life. Very few people know the purpose of their existence. And when the purpose of your life is not known, you will continue to abuse your precious life.
It is even sadder that those who claim to know their purpose already do not know how to go about it. Many are stuck at the level of survival, that they cannot even think about a life of impact.
Many claims to have been stopped by money and harsh economic conditions. But I usually help them see that ignorance is the real problem.
There is enough abundance on earth to help everyone live an amazingly exceptional life of fulfillment and generational Impact. But people continue to suffer because of lack of knowledge.
Now let’s digress a bit. Do you think that the Nigerian church is doing very well in raising youth with the right kind of mindset?
I think that there is little or no difference between the world and the church in Nigeria. The church is supposed to be the light of the world.
And the light is supposed to shine in darkness such that darkness cannot comprehend it. But the church has not really understood what it means to shine one’s light.
Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men; that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven”. Therefore, letting one’s light shine is a responsibility.
It is hard work. It takes commitment and diligence before the good works can be made manifest. But these kinds of messages are not preached in the Nigerian religious system. They keep telling people to look for miracles and sow money seeds for divine intervention; when they are supposed to be trained on how to shine their light on the world.
Little wonder that the whole nation is full of all kinds of darkness. In a country where not up to 1 percent of the population live enthusiastically to fulfill a worthy purpose, to add value to humanity, what do you expect of the future of such a country? We have a lot of work to do. The night comes when no man can work.
As one who is involved in the ongoing apostolic reformation in the country, where would you say the church got it wrong and what is the way forward?
The church derailed by NOT focusing on Jesus Christ and His finished works. The church made a big mistake by beginning to see God in a very bad light.
God is not a taskmaster that wants you to cry night and day before he decides to hear you. God wants to be your friend, and have sweet communion and relationship with you, God does NOT need nor spend money. Stop trying to bribe God with money. He gives us everything freely and He asks us to give freely as well.
God does NOT live on mountains or in gigantic buildings and edifices. Stop looking for God in places. He lives in you. I can keep going on and on.
The Truth has become a scarce commodity in the Nigerian church. Greedy and power-hungry pulpitpreneurs are busy using the prevalent falsehood to keep children of God in perpetual bondage. Most church buildings have become dens of thieves and camps of slaves, where slave masters are lording it over spiritual infants.
Hardly would you see a typical Nigerian Christian growing in the understanding of God and His Christ. Most Christians in Nigeria do not regularly hear the voice of God and so-Called prophets are taking advantage of this pervasive ignorance.
A lot of these Christians do not even understand the simple message of the gospel. The church that should be at the forefront of teaching how to love one’s neighbor is busy fasting and praying night and day for their enemies to die. It is indeed a pathetic situation. But we are shaking the tables already and we are making significant progress.
People are now getting to realize that everybody has equal access to God. No need to idolize any man of God. The reformation is gradually advancing and producing wonderful fruits. It is the dawning of a new day in Africa.
Compared to other countries, do you think the Nigerian youth are becoming better in terms of creativity and innovation?
I do not think so. I think our rate of creativity and innovation have been the same for too long. Even our educational system is suffering from paralysis. We can decide not to be a backward nation. This is part of the work we need to do.
We are the light and we need to shine. We should be at the forefront of national transformation and economic development. Jesus said greater works than He did shall we do. Now is the time. We have all it takes. We can become better. We can grow faster. But we need to be dedicated. We need to do the work. No miracles will bring us innovations and inventions.
We just need to be committed to personal development and let love reign among us. Love is a powerful force. Love will help us birth inventions and innovations to bless our world. Our nature is love. It is time to invest in the future and destiny of our nation. If you see any nation where people are constantly coming up with great inventions and innovations, the force of love is responsible. People without love in their hearts mostly live irrelevant life.